By Isobel Reardon
It was on July 16, 2010 (H1) that the internet first witnessed a square, run-of-the-mill photo of a dog in Mexico featuring a foot. Little did the world know, that this was the very first post on what was to become one of the most influential social media platforms on the planet.
From the launch of photo maps to enabling tag photos, introducing Instagram videos, enhancing communication via Instagram direct and Instagram stories, to the most recent ‘IGTV’ addition. Instagram has continued to please its market over the past eight years and ensure its relevance in today’s digital age – making it the social media platform that 500 million people use DAILY .
A Snapshot of Instagram in 2018
Instagram today is commonplace, not only for personal use but for business use as well. According to the Pew Research Centre, out of all social media platforms, Instagram has seen the most growth in usage and engagement, particularly over the past two years. Whilst this is great, it has also caused the site to become overloaded with posts and oversaturated with certain areas of content such as food, fashion, and fitness. Other research (H4) reveals that 70% of Instagram posts don’t get seen. This is predominantly due to the platform’s new algorithm which was introduced to focus more on past page engagement when choosing what content people will see.
What’s more, the quality bar is being set higher and higher as competition continues to grow, particularly amongst businesses, photographers, design and marketing professionals, and others of the like. So, if you can’t provide in-demand, high-quality content, then, unfortunately, there’s most likely a long road ahead of you.
Is Instagram still relevant then?
Yes, very much so! There is an endless number of benefits that Instagram can provide whether you are using it personally or for your business. As an individual, scrolling through, Instagram can be the perfect online space to find inspiration and drive for so many aspects of your life, allowing you to be as creative as you like! And if you’re happy just scrolling along and not worried about your presence or reach, then that’s great!
When it comes to business pages, it would appear that Instagram is somewhat of a must. A study (H2) looking at the top 100 brands of the world found that 90% of them have an Instagram page. This is most likely due to the fact that Instagram is predominantly visual, and consumers have been found to respond best to visual cues. With this in mind, a particular business strategy that has proven its significance in recent years is influencer sponsorship/brand collaboration, and it has been found that 80% of influencers prefer Instagram for this. Consequently, proving how important Instagram remains for the business sector.
Growing your individual or business profile is still possible!
Even though there is no doubt that Instagram is overly saturated, it is still a great tool if you can find a way to stay relevant! Here are some tips:
- Find a niche or sub-niche that is less saturated (examples: Brisbane fashion, organic beauty, outdoor adventures etc.)
- Provide organic content that stays true to you as a person or embodies what your business is about (letting your followers into your life is a very effective way of achieving this)
- Up your Instagram reach through using hashtags
- Engage with similar users via the ‘explore’ page – comment, like, follow to show your appreciation and that you have common interests
- Stay committed!